Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An investigation of the impact of symbolic-image congruence and functional-image congruence on tourists' destination choice
Author: Ahn, Tae-hong
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 4261
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study is concerned with how the Symbolic and Functional Congruencies predict consumer behaviour. It focuses on the methodology for constructing an appropriate scale. In the case of Symbolic Congruence, though Self-Congruence constructs have received some examination in the past, little or nothing has been written about the concept of Lifestyle Congruence and ways to measure it. The present study is intended to bridge the gap in the literature by establishing these constructs conceptually and empirically. Two empirical studies were conducted to explore the effects of two Symbolic (Self-image and Lifestyle image) Congruencies and Functional congruence on customers' travel behaviours, focusing specifically on the choice of their holiday destinations. The objective of Study One was to assess the usefulness, applicability and validity of the Self-Congruence and Functional Congruence theory in predicting tourist choice of destinations. In Study One, the degree of Self-Congruence was assessed by the direct and global method. To collect the data, the study was conducted with a convenience sample and a face-to-face administered questionnaire survey is performed. The sample consisted of 367 British residents. The data were analysed through a factor analysis and a multinomial logistic regression analysis. The main findings of Study One demonstrate that a tourist's choice of a vacation destination is strongly predicted by Functional Congruence. Conversely, Self-Congruence has no significant effects on tourists' choice behaviour and the results do not support previous studies. As a result of these findings, the issues relating to the measurement of Symbolic congruence (Self-Congruence) were clarified and the methodology for the research was refined. Study Two adopted Lifestyle Congruence scales. The objective of this study was to assess the relevance of Lifestyle Congruence and Functional Congruence in explaining tourist choice of destinations. To achieve this goal, the research substantiated the dimensions of both congruencies and established the content of the dimensions. By the same token, the Lifestyle Congruence and Functional Congruence dimensions were examined to assess their usefulness in predicting the tourists' destination choice. In Study Two, the degree of Lifestyle Congruence was assessed by the direct and dimension-based method. The same data collection and data analysis methods used in Study One were performed and the sample consisted of 419 British residents. The empirical findings of Study Two reveal that the Functional Congruence for the destination is defined as four underlying dimensions, Basic Tourists Facilities, Natural Environment, Heritages and Cultural Attractions, and Entertainment, while the Lifestyle Congruence for the destination is defined as a single dimension. Actual Lifestyle Image. Furthermore, the key findings of Study Two show that a tourist's choice of a vacation destination is more strongly predicted by Functional Congruence than by Lifestyle Congruence and that Lifestyle Congruence has significant effects on the tourists' choice behaviour. In addition, theoretical contribution, managerial implications and future research directions based on the findings are provided at the end.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available